How do we know what we think we know in Clark shooting story?

Since last November’s police killing of Jamar Clark, perhaps you’ve noticed the recurring theme in the public discourse: “But he was beating up his girlfriend; why isn’t anyone paying attention to that?”

Here’s a better question people could have been asking in the aftermath: “How do you know what you think you know?”

In Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman’s document release on Wednesday, this one has stood out, yet received scant attention. In fact, Freeman characterized the relationship between Clark and RayAnn Hayes similarly, even though she has denied there was one from the beginning.

The document is RayAnn Hayes’ interview with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the only time we’ve heard her side of the story.

Hayes has refused all interviews since the night of the shooting until last night, when she talked to WCCO’s Reg Chapman, affirming her February interview with investigators : Clark wasn’t her boyfriend and he didn’t beat her up [ed. note: the latter assertion differed from an earlier interview with authorities].

“No dispute. No domestic. None of that,” she said.


“They gave me a shot for the pain, and I laid back and I remember Jamar coming up to the window. I remember that,” she told WCCO’s Reg Chapman. “And I remember the ambulance guy like, ‘Oh, he’s trying to break in,’ and I said, ‘No he’s not. He’s just trying to help me.’”

One minute later, Clark was dead.

She said she’s still upset that the story being circulated isn’t the real story.